View Full Version : My idea, opinions please

12-26-2014, 08:46 PM
Hello Canreef.

It has been a long while since I last posted/visited Canreef.
Many years ago I had a 30g cube tank with a sump I built myself.

http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b213/outtafocuscalgary/211550.jpg (http://s20.photobucket.com/user/outtafocuscalgary/media/211550.jpg.html)

http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b213/outtafocuscalgary/2005_1019Image0014.jpg (http://s20.photobucket.com/user/outtafocuscalgary/media/2005_1019Image0014.jpg.html)

At the time I was living in a fairly large apartment I had enough room to fit this already somewhat small tank setup. This tank lasted a few years when my (future) wife and I bought a townhouse. Due to the design of the condo my original tank would no longer fit, so I down graded my setup to a 10g (I think) Nano cube. We soon realized even this small nano cube did not fit into our lives in the town house. This system was sold off with absolutely every piece of aquarium related gear I owned.

Fast forward five or six years, and we are now in a new house with lots of space and now its time to think of aquariums again.

I would like everyone's opinion of the following idea.

On my main floor on either side of the half bathroom door are these two art niches.

http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b213/outtafocuscalgary/Mobile%20Uploads/20130127_140029.jpg (http://s20.photobucket.com/user/outtafocuscalgary/media/Mobile%20Uploads/20130127_140029.jpg.html)
(this picture is actually from the show home, they are identical to mine expect mine is full of baby stuffed animals at the moment)

My plan is to get two custom built cubish shaped tanks, one in each art niche. The art niches are like four foot tall from the shelf to the top. My tanks would be 18-20 inches tall. These tank would have rear overflows with drains heading down into the basement to a good sized sump placed in my mechanical room which conveniently is located directly below the art niches. I would then have individual returns pumping back up to the tanks.

I am pretty sure I will need one large return pump or maybe two slightly smaller pumps.
I was thinking of possibly using pex piping with the plastic fittings as my return lines because I can virtually eliminate any 90 degree bends.

I will be cutting access hatches in the walls beside and below the display tanks. The structure supporting the tanks will need minor beefing up but this will be fairly easy.

I have alot of planning to do but would really appreciate your opinions now, to help guide me in the right direction.

Thank you in advance.

12-26-2014, 08:50 PM
Sounds interesting. I would use 2 pumps rather than fight with balancing 1. Contents of the tanks, IMO, should reasonably match. I think it would look cool. Working in them might be a pain with limited elbow room, but whatever!

12-27-2014, 01:15 AM
Long time no see! Hope all is well!

I would not use pex, I would use flexible PVC.

And I would probably suggest 1 pump. You are going to need a decent size pump to have the head height necessary to get up there. Two small pumps will probably not have the oomph to make it or will have too many gph when they get up there .

Personally I would do a larger pump and do a T off the pump and use it as an auxiliary to throttle back the pump. Perhaps do a refugium off that line .

Need anything let me know .


12-27-2014, 02:29 AM
I would not do it because the maintenance hassle of taking care of two narrow tall tanks would not be worth it, considering the limited choice of livestock that would work in a tank of those dimensions. Find room in your house for a large tank.

12-27-2014, 12:10 PM
Sounds awesome!
Will look great, AND, you get 2 tanks!!!!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

12-27-2014, 02:41 PM
Cool idea but comes with issues & complexity. Not something I'd attempt, but if you can pull it off, power to you! Tall & narrow presents a number of maintenance issues as does the 2 tank configuration. Flow, lighting, livestock choices, live rock placement will all present unique challenges.

12-27-2014, 03:08 PM
One seahorse, one jellyfish tank would be cool. Or NPS, but a traditional reef would be a little tricky in that space, not to say any of my suggestions would not be tricky.

12-28-2014, 02:28 AM
Thanks for all of the thoughts.

Nate its good to hear from you.

Alot of technical issues have to be thought through right now, including convincing the wife to go with this idea.

With our house right now, this is really the only location that will actually work for any tank. I dont want the weight and potential water damage issues of a large tank on the top floor. I would like to put a large tank in the basement but finishing the basement is still a few years away. When we do a development plan for the basement, a large tank will likely be a major focal point. I have never had a large tank so it would definitely be something I would like to try out.

The two tanks in the art niches would be like having two nano tanks but with the stability of a larger system. I know plumbing them into the basement will cause alot of headache but I think would be the best way to run the two tanks.
Originally I was looking into getting two all in one tank setups like the Innovative Marine Fusion 10 http://innovative-marine.com/nuvo-aquarium/fusion10.html
They would give me the look I was after but with them I am buying two of everything and trying to monitor the chemistry and top off water for the two tanks. Having the sump in the basement will hopefully simplify the operation of both tanks.

These tanks would not be tall narrow tanks, they would be a cube type shape. The measurements would likely be around 16.5" wide 18-20" tall and probably 20" deep. The livestock would be similar to what I have used before, yes I miss out on the most beautiful fish.

I believe I would be using LED lighting to help keep temps in check, the last time I had a tank metal halide was the light of choice and I remember the heat mine put out was crazy.
Typically what is the maximum depth most LED systems light penetrate to? I would assume 24" would be quite dark at the bottom.

Nate Im not quite sure if I understand your idea for plumbing the single pump. I would have a header with a line going to each tank, with ball valves on each plumbing run, but I am confused about the auxiliary line to the possible refugium. Would this be a third line off of the header? The fuge would be in the sump and not a separate tank correct?

You also said to stay away from Pex piping also. Just curious as to why? I already have the crimp tools and running a flexible line would avoid using 90 degree elbows.

The Guy
12-28-2014, 05:47 AM
If your considering Led's you may want to consider Kessels, they would work well in those spaces hanging.
http://www.jlaquatics.com/info/425/Kessil+Led+Aquarium+Pendant+Lighting.html :smile:

12-28-2014, 06:16 AM
What I'm saying is the pump might have to be overkill to be able to handle the head height. Instead of just throttling it back for the two nanos, as that would put extra load on the pump. Run a third line, a recirc line if you will back into the sump with a ball valve too. Will just help keep the pump working longer.

Also with pex, not traditionally used for aquariums. Will get the same out of flexible PVC. And I gotta ask how the pex will be hooked up to the pump. Will the crimp be submerged. Do crimps rust? What are they made of ?

Is use flex PVC. If you're having trouble finding any pArts let me know I retail them out sometimes through my aquarium maintenance company.

12-29-2014, 12:56 AM
I will definitely look into those Kessil lights. They look very nice.

If I were to use Pex piping, it would only be for the vertical run up to the tank. The copper crimp rings would be several feet from the water. I would build a header from pvc which would connect to the pump and have risers coming up out of the water. Im pretty sure there are adapter available to go from pex to pvc but I really do not know ( I just did a quick search and seems I would need to use threaded fittings to transition from pex to pvc).I dont really want to use threaded fittings if I can avoid it. I will likely use flex pvc but I am open to other ideas also.

I totally see your idea for a aux line into a refugium, thanks Nate.

12-29-2014, 02:17 AM
Full arch tank going above the doorway and down on the sides that you can walk under. Bam. Done. Lol

12-29-2014, 02:53 AM
Don't use pex as the fittings are copper or brass and will kill your inverts

01-17-2015, 05:27 PM
So after alot of thinking and discussions, I think I will be canceling this project for now.
We have decided that this will require far to much modification to our home and just won't give me the aquarium look I am going for.
I really want to do a rimless open top tank with at least three sides viewable.

I may end up doing one of those Innovative Marine tanks in a different location sometime this year.
Thanks for the help.

01-17-2015, 06:12 PM
So after alot of thinking and discussions, I think I will be canceling this project for now.
We have decided that this will require far to much modification to our home and just won't give me the aquarium look I am going for.
I really want to do a rimless open top tank with at least three sides viewable.

I may end up doing one of those Innovative Marine tanks in a different location sometime this year.
Thanks for the help.

Good call. Servicing and just cleaning the glass of algae on those tall, narrow, confined tanks would have been a complete PITA in my opinion.